WASHINGTON – Senate Republicans on Friday blocked a Democratic-sponsored bill aimed at tamping down on oil market speculation.
The bill failed to gain enough support to end a GOP-backed filibuster, garnering only 50 votes; the bill needed 60 votes to survive. There were 43 "no votes," all of which were Republicans except for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the chief sponsor of the bill. By voting "no" Reid can bring up the bill at a later date under Senate rules.
A number of energy-related bills have stalled on both sides of the aisle. Republicans are pushing for expanded oil exploration in U.S. coastal waters and in Alaska, action Democrats are opposed to. Democrats have sought a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and want to ensure oil companies use leases to federal land before gaining use to other land.